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If you're making a large purchase or investment, you'll want to be well-informed so you can make the best decision possible. When researching, the internet may be an excellent place to start. Both for learning about the artist and finding out what prices have been paid in the past.
Most databases, such as Artnet and Artprice, need memberships; however, you can visit the Dawsons art department to view the highlights of past art auctions. There are various characteristics to consider when comparing artworks, including quality, subject, date, origin, and condition, to name a few. Even if you aren't an expert, a few signs may generally give you a fair sense of how much an artwork is worth at auction.
The auction estimate is merely a rough guide and is frequently used by the auction house as a marketing tool; in other words, it may be purposely low to entice bidders, or it may be low due to negative concerns. In other instances, the estimate may be excessively high, owing to the seller's demands. The seller will establish a reserve that cannot be lower than the low estimate, and the reserve cannot be greater than the low estimate.
The auction experts are more than pleased to address any inquiries you may have. Inquire as to why the owner is selling, obtain a condition report, and inspect the back of a picture to see any historical clues; labels from significant collections or exhibits add to the value. Inquire about general interest from other parties as the auction date approaches. However, don't reveal your bidding technique - keep in mind that the seller employs the auction experts and may utilise your bid to solicit bids from other clients.
It may be a nerve-wracking process deciding what to bid on. You're dealing with your own money and investing, not simply making a ‘normal’ purchase. It would be best if you established a boundary since it is a frightening notion. Because an auction may be exhilarating, try not to get carried away and bid more than you have set aside.
Likewise, just because others are not bidding vigorously does not indicate the lot is unworthy; if you have done your homework, you will know the value to you and your collection before the auction starts.
There are a few essential participants in the auction process, and we've included some of the more common ones below: